#105 Talking FASD with Oshay’s Maryelen and Paula Mcphail

fasd success show Apr 23, 2022

Today’s show is an inspirational story of what determination, advocacy and drive can achieve! It is the story of Maryelen Mcphail, a foster and adoptive mom and her daughter Paula, co-founders of Oshay’s, an FASD organization, in Scotland.  

Maryelen, with her husband Bill, are parents to 6 children, 3 with FASD. They have also fostered over 50 children. With her daughter Paula, they founded Oshay’s, an organization to further their mission to educate professionals, the community, and families on what FASD is and how it affects everyone. Their Centre provides a library of resources for brain-based disabilities and a sense of community. They offer a variety of classes for all ages in sensory, fussy eating, messy play and more. 


When you see your child as a problem, you don’t get it. When you see your child as having a problem, it’s completely different. My goal is to make every parent understand that. 

Caregivers are going to relate to the frustration and roadblocks Maryelen went through to get a diagnosis for her daughter. You will enjoy listening to their journey from two perspectives: 

  • How Paula felt about herself before and after the diagnosis. 
  • The effects of continued barriers and lack of support (despite a diagnosis) Paula faced in the education system. 
  • How they used these roadblocks as stepping stones to become educators and advocates. 

We are not here to blame. We are here to support you and your child and family. A lot of the kids I work with say they don’t know anyone with FASD. And I’m there to tell them it’s not them, it’s their brain and this is how we can help you and you can still love your life. 

This mother/daughter duo have done so well. They created a charity to further their advocacy and recently opened a physical location to house Oshay’s to provide even more supports for people. Their story illustrates the difference that happens when caregivers make the mind shift to symptoms over behaviours and put in place supports and accommodations to help individuals succeed. I think you will agree that these two are a great team doing great things for families in Scotland.  

Oh, and if you stay tuned to the end you will hear my surprise and delight that we share a favourite activity, which not only provides bonding time for them as a family, but also provides regulation for both kids and adults! 


Show Notes: 

Find Oshay’s on the web: Oshay's - From surviving to thriving with FASD 

Facebook: Oshay’s Fasd, Twitter: @OshaysFASD, Instagram: @oshays_fasd 

Check out our Facebook Page:  FASD Caregiver Success 

Join our Facebook Group: FASD Caregiver Success Group 

Follow me on Twitter: @JeffjNoble 

Support the show: Buy Me A Coffee 


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